2 Supported processors and motherboards

Maintained by Wilko Bulte.

Additions, corrections and constructive criticism are invited. In particular, information on system quirks is more than welcome.

2.1 Overview

This document tries to provide a starting point for those who want to run FreeBSD on an Alpha-based machine. It is aimed at providing background information on the various hardware designs. It is not a replacement for the systems manuals.

The information is structured as follows:

Note: You will see references to DEC, Digital Equipment Corporation and Compaq used more or less interchangeably. Now that Compaq has acquired Digital Equipment it would be more correct to refer to Compaq only. To be completely politically correct given that Hewlett Packard in turn has acquired Compaq I probably should be using HP everywhere. Given the fact that you will see the mix of names everywhere, I don't bother.

Note: SRM commands will be in UPPER CASE. Lower case input is also acceptable to SRM. Upper case is used for clarity.

2.2 In general, what do you need to run FreeBSD on an Alpha?

Obviously you will need an Alpha machine that FreeBSD knows about. Alpha machines are NOT like PCs. There are considerable differences between the various core logic chip sets and mainboard designs. This means that a kernel needs to know the intimate details of a particular machine before it can run on it. Throwing some odd GENERIC kernel at unknown hardware is almost guaranteed to fail miserably.

For a machine even to be considered for FreeBSD use please make sure it has the SRM console firmware installed. Or at least make sure that SRM console firmware is available for the particular machine type. If FreeBSD does not currently support your machine type, there is a good chance that this will change at some point in time, assuming SRM is available. All bets are off when SRM console firmware is not available.

Machines with the ARC or AlphaBIOS console firmware were intended for WindowsNT. Some have SRM console firmware available in the system ROMs which you only have to select (via an ARC or AlphaBIOS menu). In other cases you will have to re-flash the ROMs with SRM code. Check on http://ftp.digital.com/pub/DEC/Alpha/firmware to see what is available for your particular system. In any case: no SRM means no FreeBSD (or NetBSD, OpenBSD, Tru64 Unix or OpenVMS for that matter). With the demise of WindowsNT/alpha a lot of former NT boxes are sold on the second hand market. They have little or no trade-in value when they are NT-only from the console firmware perspective. So, be suspicious if the price appears too good.

In case you have problems making your selection of SRM 'stick', in other words if the system falls back to AlphaBIOS after you selected the SRM console, it is time to check if the battery of your CMOS clock/parameter RAM is empty. If so, a replacement battery most likely fixes the issue.

Known non-SRM machines are:

Machines that have SRM but are not supported by FreeBSD are:

To complicate things a bit further: Digital used to have so called ``white-box'' Alpha machines destined as NT-only and ``blue-box'' Alpha machines destined for OpenVMS and Digital Unix. These names are based on the color of the cabinets, ``FrostWhite'' and ``TopGunBlue'' respectively. Although you could put the SRM console firmware on a whitebox, OpenVMS and Digital Unix will refuse to boot on them. FreeBSD in post-4.0-RELEASE will run on both the white and the blue-box variants. Before someone asks: the white ones had a rather different (read: cheaper) Digital price tag.

As part of the SRM you will get the so called OSF/1 PAL code (OSF/1 being the initial name of Digital's UNIX offering on Alpha). The PAL code can be thought of as a software abstraction layer between the hardware and the operating system. It uses normal CPU instruction plus a handful of privileged instructions specific for PAL use. PAL is not microcode. The ARC console firmware contains a different PAL code, geared towards WinNT and in no way suitable for use by FreeBSD (or more generic: Unix or OpenVMS). Before someone asks: Linux/alpha brings its own PAL code, allowing it to boot on ARC and AlphaBIOS. There are various reasons why this is not a very good idea in the eyes of the *BSD folks. I don't want to go into details here. If you are interested in the gory details search the FreeBSD and NetBSD web sites.

There is another pitfall ahead: you will need a disk adapter that the SRM console firmware recognizes in order to be able to boot from a disk. What is acceptable to SRM as a boot adapter is unfortunately highly system and SRM version dependent. For older PCI based machines it means you will need either a NCR/Symbios 53C810 based adapter, or a Qlogic 1020/1040 based adapter. Some machines come with a SCSI chip embedded on the mainboard. Newer machine designs and SRM versions will be able to work with more modern SCSI chips/adapters. Check out the machine specific info below. Please note that the rest of this discussion only refers to Symbios chips, this is meant to include the older chips that still have NCR stamped on them. Symbios bought NCR sometime.

The problem might bite those who have machines that started their lives as WindowsNT boxes. The ARC or AlphaBIOS knows about other adapter types that it can boot from than the SRM. For example you can boot from an Adaptec 2940UW with ARC/AlphaBios but (generally) not with SRM. Some newer machine types have introduced Adaptec boot support. Please consult the machine specific section for details.

Most adapters that cannot be booted from work fine for data-only disks. The differences between SRM and ARC could also get you pre-packaged IDE CDROMs and hard drives in some (former WindowsNT) systems. SRM versions exist (depends on the machine type) that can boot from IDE disks and CDROMs. Check the machine specific section for details.

In order to be bootable the root partition (partition a) must be at offset 0 of the disk drive. This means you have to use the installer's partitioning menu and start with assigning partition a at offset 0 to the root partition. Subsequently layout the rest of the partitions to your liking. If you do not adhere to this rule the install will proceed just fine, but the system will not be bootable from the freshly installed disk. Note that fdisk is not used on FreeBSD running on Alpha, disks are directly labeled using disklabel.

If you don't have/want a local disk drive you can boot via the Ethernet. This assumes an Ethernet adapter/chip that is recognized by the SRM console. Generally speaking this boils down to either a 21040 or 21142 or 21143 based Ethernet interface. Older machines or SRM versions may not recognize the 21142 / 21143 Fast Ethernet chips, you are then limited to using 10Mbit Ethernet for net booting those machines. Non-DEC cards based on said chips will generally (but are not guaranteed to) work. Note that Intel took over the 21x4x chips when it bought Digital Semiconductor. So you might see an Intel logo on them these days. Recent machine designs have SRM support for Intel 8255x Ethernet chips.

Alpha machines can be run with SRM on a graphics console or on a serial console. ARC can also be run on a serial consoles if need be. VT100 emulation with 8 bit controls should at least allow you to switch from ARC/AlphaBIOS to SRM mode without having to install a graphics card first.

If you want to run your Alpha machine without a monitor/graphics card just don't connect a keyboard/mouse to the machine. Instead hook up a serial terminal[emulator] to serial port #1. The SRM will talk 9600N81 to you. This can also be really practical for debugging purposes. Beware: some/most (?) SRMs will also present you with a console prompt at serial port #2. The booting kernel, however, will display the boot messages on serial port #1 and will also put the console there. This can be extremely confusing.

Most PCI based Alphas can use ordinary PC-type VGA cards. The SRM contains enough smarts to make that work. It does not, however, mean that each and every PCI VGA card out on the street will work in an Alpha machine. Things like S3 Trio64, Mach64, and Matrox Millennium generally work. Old ET4000 based ISA cards have also worked for me. But ask around first before buying.

Most PCI devices from the PC-world will also work in FreeBSD PCI-based machines. Check the /sys/alpha/conf/GENERIC file for the latest word on this. Check the appropriate machine type's discussion in case you want to use PCI cards that have PCI bridge chips on them. In some cases you might encounter problems with PCI cards not handling PCI parity correctly. This can lead to panics. PCI parity checking can be disabled using the following SRM command:

>>> SET PCI_PARITY OFF

This is not a FreeBSD problem, all operating systems running on Alpha hardware will need this workaround.

If your system (also) contains EISA expansion slots you will need to run the EISA Configuration Utility (ECU) after you have installed EISA cards or after you have upgraded your console firmware.

For Alpha CPUs you will find multiple generations. The original Alpha design is the 21064. It was produced in a chip process called MOS4, chips made in this process are nicknamed EV4. Newer CPUs are 21164, 21264 etc. You will see designations like EV4S, EV45, EV5, EV56, EV6, EV67, EV68. The EVs with double digit numbers are slightly improved versions. For example EV45 has an improved FPU and 16 kByte on-chip separate I & D caches compared to the EV4 on which it is based. Rule of thumb: the higher the digit immediately following ``EV'' the more desirable (read: faster / more modern).

For memory you want at least 32 Mbytes. I have had FreeBSD run on a 16 Mbyte system but you will not enjoy that. Kernel build times halved when I went to 32 Mbytes. Note that the SRM console steals 2Mbyte from the total system memory (and keeps it). For more serious work 64 Mbytes or more are recommended. Although Alpha machines typically can accommodate large to very large physical memory sizes, FreeBSD is limited to 1 or 2 Gbytes (dependent on the core chipset) of RAM. This restriction is due to the current implementation of the VM system.

While on the subject of memory: pay close attention to the type of memory your machine uses. There are very different memory configurations and requirements for the various machines.

Final word: I expect the above to sound a bit daunting to the first-time Alpha user. Don't be daunted too much. And do feel free to ask questions if something is not clear after reading this document.

2.3 System-specific information

Below is an overview of the hardware that FreeBSD runs on. This list will definitely grow, a look in /sys/alpha/conf/GENERIC can be enlightening.

Alpha machines are often best known by their project code name. Where known these are listed below in parentheses.

2.3.1 AXPpci33 (``NoName'')

The NoName is a baby-AT mainboard based on the 21066 LCA (Low Cost Alpha) processor. NoName was originally designed for OEM-use. The LCA chip includes almost all of the logic to drive a PCI bus and the memory subsystem. All of this makes for a low-priced design.

Due to the limited memory interface the system is not particularly fast in case of cache misses. As long as you stay inside the on-chip cache the CPU is comparable to a 21064 (first generation Alpha). These boards should be very cheap to obtain these days. It is a full-fledged 64 bit CPU, just don't expect miracles as far as speed goes.

Features:

  • 21066 Alpha CPU at 166 MHz or 21066A CPU at 233MHz. 21068 CPUs are also possible, but are even slower.

  • on-board Bcache / L2 cache: 0, 256k or 1 Mbyte (uses DIL chips)

  • PS/2 mouse & keyboard port OR 5pin DIN keyboard (2 mainboard models)

  • memory:

    • bus width: 64 bits

    • PS/2 style 72 pin 36 bit Fast Page Mode SIMMs

    • 70ns or better

    • installed in pairs of 2

    • 4 SIMM sockets

    • uses ECC

  • 512kB Flash ROM for the console code.

  • 2 16550A serial ports

  • 1 parallel port

  • floppy interface

  • 1 embedded IDE interface

  • expansion:

    • 3 32 bit PCI slots (1 shared with ISA)

    • 5 ISA slots (1 shared with PCI)

  • embedded Fast SCSI using a Symbios 53C810 chip

NoNames can either have SRM or ARC console firmware in their Flash ROM. The Flash ROM is not big enough to hold both ARC and SRM at the same time and allow software selection of alternate console code. But you only need SRM anyway.

Cache for the NoNames are 15 or 20 ns DIL chips. For a 256 kByte cache you want to check your junked 486 mainboard. Chips for a 1 Mbyte cache are a rarer breed unfortunately. Getting at least a 256kByte cache is recommended performance wise. Cache-less they are really slow.

The NoName mainboard has a PC/AT-standard power connector. It also has a power connector for 3.3 Volts. No need to rush out to get a new power supply. The 3.3 Volts is only needed in case you run 3.3 Volts PCI expansion boards. These are quite rare.

The IDE interface is supported by FreeBSD and requires a line in the kernel configuration file as follows:

device ata

The ATA interface uses irq 14.

The SRM console unfortunately cannot boot from IDE disks. This means you will have to use a SCSI disk as the boot device.

The NoName is somewhat stubborn when it comes to serial consoles. It needs

>>> SET CONSOLE SERIAL

before it goes for a serial console. Pulling the keyboard from the machine is not sufficient, like it is on most other Alpha models. Going back to a graphical console needs

>>> SET CONSOLE GRAPHICS

at the serial console.

There have been reports that you sometimes need to press Control-Alt-Del to capture the SRM's attention. I have never seen this myself, but it is worth trying if you are greeted by a blank screen after powerup.

Make sure you use true 36 bit SIMMs, and only FPM (Fast Page Mode) DRAM. EDO DRAM or SIMMs with fake parity will not work. The board uses the 4 extra bits for ECC. 33 bit FPM SIMMs will for the same reason not work.

Given the choice, get the PS/2-variant mainboard. Apart from giving you a mouse port as bonus it is directly supported by Tru64 Unix in case you ever want or need to run it. The ``DIN-plug''-variant should work OK for FreeBSD.

The OEM manual is recommended reading.

The kernel configuration file for a NoName kernel must contain:

options    DEC_AXPPCI_33           
cpu EV4

2.3.2 Universal Desktop Box (UDB or ``Multia'')

Note: Multia can be either Intel or Alpha CPU based. We assume Alpha based ones here for obvious reasons.

Multia is a small desktop box intended as a sort of personal workstation. They come in a considerable number of variations, check closely what you get.

Features:

  • 21066 Alpha CPU at 166 MHz or 21066A CPU at 233MHz

  • on-board Bcache / L2 cache: COAST-like 256 kByte cache module; 233MHz models have 512kByte of cache; 166MHz models have soldered-on 256kB caches

  • PS/2 mouse & keyboard port

  • memory:

    • bus width: 64 bits

    • PS/2 style 72 pin 36 bit Fast Page Mode SIMMs

    • 70ns or better

    • SIMMs are installed in pairs of 2

    • 4 SIMM sockets

    • uses ECC

  • 2 16550A serial ports

  • 1 parallel port

  • floppy interface

  • Intel 82378ZB PCI to ISA bridge

  • 1 embedded 21040 based 10Mbit Ethernet, AUI and 10base2 connector

  • expansion:

    • 1 32 bit PCI slot

    • 2 PCMCIA slots

  • on-board Crystal CS4231 or AD1848 sound chip

  • embedded Fast SCSI, using a Symbios 53C810[A] chip on the PCI riser card

Multia has enough Flash ROM to store both SRM and ARC code at the same time and allow software selection of one of them.

The embeded TGA video adapter is not currently usable as a FreeBSD console. You will need to use a serial console.

Multia has only one 32 bit PCI slot for expansion, and it is only suitable for a small form factor PCI card. By sacrificing the PCI slot space you can mount a 3.5" hard disk drive. Mounting stuff may have come with your Multia. Adding a 3.5" disk is not a recommended upgrade due to the limited power rating of the power supply and the extremely marginal cooling of the system box.

Multia also has 2 PCMCIA expansion slots. These are currently not supported by FreeBSD.

The CPU might or might not be socketed, check this before considering CPU upgrade hacks. The low-end Multias have a soldered-in CPU.

Multia has 2 serial ports but routes both of them to the outside world on a single 25 pin sub-D connector. The Multia FAQ explains how to build your own Y-cable to allow both ports to be used.

Although the Multia SRM supports booting from floppy this can be problematic. Typically the errors look like:

*** Soft Error - Error #10 - FDC: Data overrun or underrun

This is not a FreeBSD problem, it is a SRM problem. The best available workaround to install FreeBSD is to boot from a SCSI CDROM.

There have been reports that you sometimes need to press Control-Alt-Del to capture the SRM's attention. I have never seen this myself, but it is worth trying when you are greeted by a blank screen after powerup.

Sound works fine using pcm(4) driver and a line in the kernel configuration file as follows for the Crystal CS4231 chip:

device pcm

The sound device lives at port 0x530, and uses irq 9 along with drq 3. You also need to specify flags 0x15 in the device.hints file.

I have not yet been successful in getting my Multia with the AD1848 to play any sound.

While verifying playback I was reminded of the lack of CPU power of the 166MHz CPU. MP3 only plays acceptable using 22kHz down-sampling.

Multias are somewhat notorious for dying of heat strokes. The very compact box does not really allow access to cooling air. Please use the Multia on its vertical stand, don't put it horizontally (``pizza style''). Replacing the fan with something which pushes around more air is really recommended. You can also cut one of the wires to the fan speed sensor. Once cut, the fan runs at a (loud) full speed. Beware of PCI cards with high power consumption. If your system has died you might want to check the Multia-Heat-Death pages at the NetBSD Web site for help in reviving it.

The Intel 82378ZB PCI to ISA bridge enables the use of an IDE disk. This requires a line in the kernel configuration file as follows:

device ata

The ATA interface uses IRQ 14.

The IDE connector pin spacing is thought for 2.5" laptop disks. A 3.5" IDE disk would not fit in the case anyway. At least not without sacrificing your only PCI slot. The SRM console unfortunately does not know how to boot from IDE disks. You will need to use a SCSI disk as the boot disk.

In case you want to change the internal hard drive: the internal flat cable running from the PCI riser board to the 2.5" hard drive has a finer pitch than the standard SCSI flat cables. Otherwise it would not fit on the 2.5" drives. There are also riser cards that have a standard-pitch SCSI cable attached to it, which will fit an ordinary SCSI disk.

Again, I recommend against trying to cram a replacement hard disk inside. Use the external SCSI connector and put your disk in an external enclosure. Multias run hot enough as-is. In most cases you will have the external high density 50-pin SCSI connector but some Multia models came without disk and may lack the connector. Something to check before buying one.

The kernel configuration file for a Multia kernel must contain:

options    DEC_AXPPCI_33
cpu EV4

Recommended reading on Multia can be found at http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/alpha/multiafaq.html or http://www.brouhaha.com/~eric/computers/udb.html.

2.3.3 Personal Workstation (``Miata'')

The Miata is a small tower machine intended to be put under a desk. There are multiple Miata variants. The original Miata is the MX5 model. Because it suffers from a number of hardware design flaws a redesign was done, yielding the MiataGL. Unfortunately the variants are not easily distinguishable at first sight from the outside of the case. An easy check is to see if the back of the machine sports two USB connectors. If yes, it is a MiataGL. MX5 models tend to be more common in the used system market place.

System designations look like ``Personal Workstation 433a''. Personal Workstation, being a bit of a mouthful, is often abbreviated to PWS. This means it has a 433 MHz CPU, and started life as a WinNT workstation (the trailing ``a''). Systems designated from day 1 to run Tru64 Unix or OpenVMS will sport ``433au''. WinNT-Miatas are likely to come pre-configured with an IDE CDROM drive. So, in general systems are named like PWS[433,500,600]a[u].

There was also a Miata model with a special CPU cooling system by Kryotech. The Kryotech has a special cooling system and is housed in a different enclosure.

Features:

  • 21164A EV56 Alpha CPU at 433, 500 or 600MHz

  • 21174 core logic (``Pyxis'') chip

  • on-board Bcache / L3 cache: 0, 2 or 4 Mbytes (uses a cache module)

  • memory:

    • bus width: 128 bits wide, ECC protected

    • unbuffered 72 bit wide SDRAMs DIMMs, installed in pairs of 2

    • 6 DIMM sockets

    • maximum memory 1.5 GBytes

  • on-board Fast Ethernet:

    • MX5 uses a 21142 or 21143 Ethernet chip, dependent on the version of the PCI riser card

    • MiataGL has a 21143 chip

    • the bulkhead can be 10/100 Mbit UTP, or 10 Mbit UTP/BNC

  • 2 on-board [E]IDE disk interfaces, based on the CMD646 (MX5) or the Cypress 82C693 (MiataGL)

  • 1 Ultra-Wide SCSI Qlogic 1040 [MiataGL only]

  • 2 64-bit PCI slots

  • 3 32-bit PCI slots (behind a DEC PCI-PCI bridge chip)

  • 3 ISA slots (physically shared with the 32 bit PCI slots, via an Intel 82378IB PCI to ISA bridge chip)

  • 2 16550A serial port

  • 1 parallel port

  • PS/2 keyboard & mouse port

  • USB interface [MiataGL only]

  • embedded sound based on an ESS1888 chip

The Miata logic is divided into two printed circuit boards. The lower board in the bottom of the machine has the PCI and ISA slots and things like the sound chip etc. The top board has the CPU, the Pyxis chip, memory etc. Note that MX5 and the MiataGL use a different PCI riser board. This means that you cannot just upgrade to a MiataGL CPU board (with the newer Pyxis chip) but that you will also need a different riser board. Apparently an MX5 riser with a MiataGL CPU board will work but it is definitely not a supported or tested configuration. Everything else (cabinet, wiring, etc.) is identical for MX5 and MiataGL.

MX5 has problems with DMA via the 2 64-bit PCI slots when this DMA crosses a page boundary. The 32 bit slots don't have this problem because the PCI-PCI bridge chip does not allow the offending transfers. The SRM code knows about the problem and refuses to start the system if there is a PCI card in one of the 64bit slots that it does not know about. Cards that are ``known good'' to the SRM are allowed to be used in the 64bit slots.

If you want to fool the SRM you can type set pci_device_override at the SRM prompt. Just don't complain if your data mysteriously gets mangled.

The complete command is:

>>> SET PCI_DEVICE_OVERRIDE <vendor_id><device_id>

For example:

>>> SET PCI_DEVICE_OVERRIDE 88c15333

The most radical approach is to use:

>>> SET PCI_DEVICE_OVERRIDE -1

This disables PCI ID checking altogether, so that you can install any PCI card without its ID getting checked. For this to work you need a reasonable current SRM version.

Important: Do this on your own risk..

The FreeBSD kernel reports it when it sees a buggy Pyxis chip:

Sep 16 18:39:43 miata /kernel: cia0: Pyxis, pass 1
Sep 16 18:39:43 miata /kernel: cia0: extended capabilities: 1<BWEN>
Sep 16 18:39:43 miata /kernel: cia0: WARNING: Pyxis pass 1 DMA bug; no bets...

A MiataGL probes as:

Jan  3 12:22:32 miata /kernel: cia0: Pyxis, pass 1
Jan  3 12:22:32 miata /kernel: cia0: extended capabilities: 1<BWEN>
Jan  3 12:22:32 miata /kernel: pcib0: <2117x PCI host bus adapter> on cia0

MiataGL does not have the DMA problems of the MX5. PCI cards that make the MX5 SRM choke when installed in the 64bit slots are accepted without problems by the MiataGL SRM.

The latest mainboard revisions of MX5 contain a hardware workaround for the bug. The SRM does not know about the ECO and will complain about unknown cards as before. So does the FreeBSD kernel by the way.

The Miata SRM can boot from IDE CDROM drives. IDE hard disk boot is known to work for both MiataGL and MX5 disks, so you can root FreeBSD from an IDE disk. Speeds on MX5 are around 14 Mbytes/sec assuming a suitable drive. Miata's CMD646 chip will support up to WDMA2 mode as the chip is too buggy for use with UDMA.

Miata MX5s generally use Qlogic 1040 based SCSI adapters. These are bootable by the SRM console. Note that Adaptec cards are not bootable by the Miata SRM console.

The MiataGL has a faster PCI-PCI bridge chip on the PCI riser card than some of the MX5 riser card versions. Some of the MX5 risers have the same chip as the MiataGL. All in all there is a lot of variation.

Not all VGA cards will work behind the PCI-PCI bridge. This manifests itself as no video at all. Workaround is to put the VGA card ``before'' the bridge, in one of the 64 bit PCI slots. Graphics performance using a 64 bit slot is generally substantially better.

Both MX5 and MiataGL have an on-board sound chip, an ESS1888. It emulates a SoundBlaster and can be enabled by putting

device pcm
device  sbc

in your kernel configuration file:

in case your Miata has the optional cache board installed make sure it is firmly seated. A slightly loose cache has been observed to cause weird crashes (not surprising obviously, but maybe not so obvious when troubleshooting). The cache module is identical between MX5 and MiataGL.

Installing a 2Mb cache module achieves, apart from a 10-15% speed increase (based on buildworld elapsed time), a decrease for PCI DMA read bandwidth from 64bit PCI cards. A benchmark on a 64-bit Myrinet card resulted in a decrease from 149 Mbytes/sec to 115 Mbytes/sec. Something to keep in mind when doing really high speed things with 64 bit PCI adapters.

Although the hardware allows you to install up to 1.5Gbyte of memory, FreeBSD is limited to 1Gbyte because the DMA code does not correctly handle memory above 1Gbyte.

Moving to a faster CPU is quite simple, swap out the CPU chip and set the clock multiplier dipswitch to the speed of the new CPU.

If you experience SRM errors like

ERROR: scancode 0xa3 not supported on PCXAL

after halting FreeBSD you should update your SRM firmware to V7.2-1 or later. This SRM version is first available on the Firmware Update CD V5.7, or on http://www.compaq.com/ This SRM problem is fixed on both Miata MX5 and Miata GL.

USB is supported by FreeBSD 4.1 and later.

Disconnect the power cord before dismantling the machine, the soft-power switch keeps part of the logic powered even when the machine is switched off.

The kernel configuration file for a Miata kernel must contain:

options    DEC_ST550               
cpu EV5

2.3.4 Evaluation Board 64 family

In its attempts to popularize the Alpha CPU DEC produced a number of so called Evaluation Boards. Members of this family are EB64, EB64+, AlphaPC64 (codename ``Cabriolet''). A non-DEC member of this family is the Aspen Alpine. The EB64 family of evaluation boards has the following feature set:

  • 21064 or 21064A CPU, 150 to 275 MHz

  • memory:

    • memory buswidth: 128 bit

    • PS/2 style 72 pin 33 bit Fast Page Mode SIMMs

    • 70ns or better

    • installed in sets of 4

    • 8 SIMM sockets

    • uses parity memory

  • Bcache / L2 cache: 0, 512 kByte, 1 Mbyte or 2 Mbytes

  • 21072 (``APECS'') chip set

  • Intel 82378ZB PCI to ISA bridge chip (``Saturn'')

  • dual 16550A serial ports

  • parallel printer port

  • Symbios 53C810 Fast-SCSI (not on AlphaPC64)

  • IDE interface (only on AlphaPC64)

  • embedded 10 Mbit Ethernet (not on AlphaPC64)

  • 2 PCI slots (4 slots on AlphaPC64)

  • 3 ISA slots

Aspen Alpine is slightly different, but is close enough to the EB64+ to run an EB64+ SRM EPROM (mine did..). The Aspen Alpine does not have an embedded Ethernet, has 3 instead of 2 PCI slots. It comes with 2 Mbytes of cache already soldered onto the mainboard. It has jumpers to select the use of 60, 70 or 80ns SIMM speeds.

36 bits SIMMs work fine, 3 bits simply remain unused. Note the systems use Fast Page Mode memory, not EDO memory.

The EB64+ SRM console code is housed in an UV-erasable EPROM. No easy flash SRM upgrades for the EB64+ The latest SRM version available for EB64+ is quite ancient anyway.

The EB64+ SRM can boot both 53C810 and Qlogic1040 SCSI adapters. Pitfall for the Qlogic is that the firmware that is down-loaded by the SRM onto the Qlogic chip is very old. There are no updates for the EB64+ SRM available. So you are stuck with old Qlogic bits too. I have had quite some problems when I wanted to use Ultra-SCSI drives on the Alpine with Qlogic. The FreeBSD kernel can be compiled to include a much newer Qlogic firmware revision. This is not the default because it adds hundreds of kBytes worth of bloat to the kernel. In FreeBSD 4.1 and later the isp firmware is contained in a kernel loadable module. All of this might mean that you need to use a non-Qlogic adapter to boot from.

AlphaPC64 boards generally come with ARC console firmware. SRM console code can be loaded from floppy into the Flash ROM.

The IDE interface of the AlphaPC64 is not bootable from the SRM console. Enabling it requires the following line in the kernel configuration file:

device ata

The ATA interface uses irq 14.

Note that the boards require a power supply that supplies 3.3 Volts for the CPU.

For the EB64 family machines the kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_EB64PLUS            
cpu EV4

2.3.5 Evaluation Board 164 (``EB164, PC164, PC164LX, PC164SX'') family

EB164 is a newer design evaluation board, based on the 21164A CPU. This design has been used to ``spin off'' multiple variations, some of which are used by OEM manufacturers/assembly shops. Samsung did its own PC164LX which has only 32 bit PCI, whereas the Digital variant has 64 bit PCI.

  • 21164A, multiple speed variants [EB164, PC164, PC164LX]

  • 21164PC [only on PC164SX]

  • 21171 (Alcor) chip set [EB164]

    21172 (Alcor2) chip set [PC164]

    21174 (Pyxis) chip [164LX, 164SX]

  • Bcache / L3 cache: EB164 uses special cache-SIMMs

  • memory bus: 128 bit / 256 bit

  • memory:

    • PS/2 style SIMMs in sets of 4 or 8

    • 36 bit, Fast Page Mode, uses ECC, [EB164 / PC164]

    • SDRAM DIMMs in sets of 2, non-ECC or ECC can be used [PC164SX]

    • SDRAM DIMMs in sets of 2, uses ECC [PC164LX]

  • 2 16550A serial ports

  • PS/2 style keyboard & mouse

  • floppy controller

  • parallel port

  • 32 bits PCI

  • 64 bits PCI [some models]

  • ISA slots via an Intel 82378ZB PCI to ISA bridge chip

Using 8 SIMMs for a 256bit wide memory can yield interesting speedups over a 4 SIMM/128bit wide memory. Obviously all 8 SIMMs must be of the same type to make this work. The system must be explicitly setup to use the 8 SIMM memory arrangement. You must have 8 SIMMs, 4 SIMMs distributed over 2 banks will not work. For the AlphaPC164 you can have a maximum of 1Gbyte of RAM, using 8 128Mbyte SIMMs. The manual indicates the maximum is 512 Mbyte.

The SRM can boot from Qlogic 10xx boards or the Symbios 53C810[A]. Newer Symbios 810 revisions like the Symbios 810AE are not recognized by the SRM on PC164. PC164 SRM does not appear to recognize a Symbios 53C895 based host adapter (tested with a Tekram DC-390U2W). On the other hand some no-name Symbios 53C985 board has been reported to work. Cards like the Tekram DC-390F (Symbios875 based) have been confirmed to work fine on the PC164. Symbios 53C896 has been confirmed to not work.

Symbios 53C825[a] will also work as boot adapter. Diamond FirePort, although based on Symbios chips, is not bootable by the PC164SX SRM. PC164SX is reported to boot fine with Symbios825, Symbios875, Symbios895 and Symbios876 based cards. In addition, Adaptec 2940U and 2940UW are reported to work for booting (verified on SRM V5.7-1). Adaptec 2930U2 and 2940U2[W] do not work.

164LX and 164SX with SRM firmware version 5.8 or later can boot from Adaptec 2940-series adapters. A test with an Adaptec 3940UW showed that that one is not supported however. 164SX SRM recognises Intel 8255x Ethernet cards which show up as eia. Using such a NIC allows network booting.

In summary: this family of machines is ``blessed'' with a challenging compatibility as far as SCSI adapters go.

On 164SX you can have a maximum of 1 Gbyte of RAM. 4 regular (PC100 or PC133) 256MB DIMMs are reported to work just fine. Whether 512MB DIMMs will also work is currently unknown. You can use ECC or non-ECC DIMMs. The non-ECC ones are the same as commonly found in PCs. Unfortunately the 164SX is quite picky on which DIMMs it likes, so be prepared to test and experiment.

PCI bridge chips are sometimes not appreciated by the 164SX, they cause SRM errors and kernel panics in those cases. This seems to depend on the fact if the card is recognised, and therefore correctly initialised, by the SRM console. The 164SX' onboard IDE interface is quite slow, a Promise card gives a 3-4 times speed improvement.

On PC164 the SRM sometimes seems to lose its variable settings. ``For PC164, current superstition says that, to avoid losing settings, you want to first downgrade to SRM 4.x and then upgrade to 5.x.'' One sample error that was observed was:

ERROR: ISA table corrupt!

A sequence of a downgrade to SRM4.9, an

>>> ISACFG -INIT

followed by

>>> INIT

made the problem go away. Some PC164 owners report they have never seen the problem.

On PC164SX the AlphaBIOS allows you a selection to select SRM to be used as console on the next power up. This selection does not appear to have any effect. In other words, you will get the AlphaBIOS regardless of what you select. The fix is to reflash the console ROM with the SRM code for PC164SX. This will overwrite the AlphaBIOS and will get you the SRM console you desire. The SRM code can be found on the Compaq Web site.

164LX can either have the SRM console code or the AlphaBIOS code in its flash ROM because the flash ROM is too small to hold both at the same time.

PC164 can boot from IDE disks assuming your SRM version is recent enough.

EB164 needs a power supply that supplies 3.3 Volts. PC164 does not implement the PS_ON signal that ATX power supplies need to switch on. A simple switch pulling this signal to ground allows you to run a standard ATX power supply.

For the EB164 class machines the kernel config file must contain:

options         DEC_EB164
cpu             EV5

2.3.6 AlphaStation 200 (``Mustang'') and 400 (``Avanti'') series

The Digital AlphaStation 200 and 400 series systems are early low end PCI based workstations. The 200 and 250 series are desktop boxes, the 400 series is a desk-side mini-tower.

Features:

  • 21064 or 21064A CPU at speeds of 100 up to 333 MHz

  • DECchip 21071-AA core logic chip set

  • Bcache / L2 cache: 512 Kbytes (200 and 400 series) or 2048KBytes (250 series)

  • memory:

    • 64 bit bus width

    • 8 to 384 MBytes of RAM

    • 70 ns or better Fast Page DRAM

    • in three pairs (200 and 400 series)

    • in two quads, so banks of four. (250 series)

    • the memory subsystem uses parity

  • PS/2 keyboard and mouse port

  • two 16550 serial ports

  • parallel port

  • floppy disk interface

  • 32 bit PCI expansion slots (3 for the AS400-series, 2 for the AS200 & 250-series)

  • ISA expansion slots (4 for the AS400-series, 2 for the AS200 & 250-series) (some ISA/PCI slots are physically shared)

  • embedded 21040-based Ethernet (200 & 250 series)

  • embedded Symbios 53c810 Fast SCSI-2 chip

  • Intel 82378IB (``Saturn'') PCI-ISA bridge chip

  • graphics is embedded TGA or PCI VGA (model dependent)

  • 16 bit sound (on 200 & 250 series)

The systems use parity memory SIMMs, but these do not need 36 bit wide SIMMs. 33 bit wide SIMMs are sufficient, 36 bit SIMMs are acceptable too. EDO or 32 bit SIMMs will not work. 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 Mbyte SIMMs are supported.

The AS200 & AS250 sound hardware is reported to work OK assuming you have the following line in your kernel config file:

device pcm

The sound device uses port 0x530, IRQ 10 and drq 0. You also need to specify flags 0x10011 in the device.hints file.

AlphaStation 200 & 250 series have an automatic SCSI terminator. This means that as soon as you plug a cable onto the external SCSI connector the internal terminator of the system is disabled. It also means that you should not leave unterminated cables plugged into the machine.

AlphaStation 400 series have an SRM variable that controls termination. In case you have external SCSI devices connected you must set this SRM variable using

>>> SET CONTROL_SCSI_TERM EXTERNAL.

If only internal SCSI devices are present use:

>>> SET CONTROL_SCSI_TERM INTERNAL

For the AlphaStation-[24][05]00 machines the kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_2100_A50
cpu EV4

2.3.7 AlphaStation 500 and 600 (``Alcor'' & ``Maverick'' for EV5, ``Bret'' for EV56)

AS500 and 600 were the high-end EV5 / PCI based workstations. EV6 based machines have in the meantime taken their place as front runners. AS500 is a desktop in a dark blue case (TopGun blue), AS600 is a sturdy desk-side box. AS600 has a nice LCD panel to observe the early stages of SRM startup.

Features:

  • 21164 EV5 CPU at 266, 300, 333, 366, 400, 433, 466, or 500 MHz (AS500) or at 266, 300 or 333 MHz (AS600)

  • 21171 (Alcor) or 21172 (Alcor2) core logic chip set

  • Cache:

    • 2 or 4 Mb L3 / Bcache (AS600 at 266 MHz)

    • 4 Mb L3 / Bcache (AS600 at 300 MHz)

    • 2 or 8 Mb L3 / Bcache (8 Mb on 500 MHz version only)

    • 2 to 16 Mb L3 / Bcache (AS600; 3 cache-SIMM slots)

  • memory buswidth: 256 bits

  • AS500 memory:

    • industry standard 72 bit wide buffered Fast Page Mode DIMMs

    • 8 DIMM slots

    • installed in sets of 4

    • maximum memory is 1 GB (512 Mb max on 333 MHz CPUs)

    • uses ECC

  • AS600 memory:

    • industry standard 36 bit Fast Page Mode SIMMs

    • 32 SIMM slots

    • installed in sets of 8

    • maximum memory is 1 GB

    • uses ECC

  • Qlogic 1020 based wide SCSI bus (1 bus/chip for AS500, 2 buses/chip for AS600)

  • 21040 based 10 Mbit Ethernet adapter, both Thinwire and UTP connectors

  • expansion:

    • AS500:

      • 3 32-bit PCI slots

      • 1 64-bit PCI slot

    • AS600:

      • 2 32-bit PCI slot

      • 3 64-bit PCI slots

      • 1 PCI/EISA physically shared slot

      • 3 EISA slots

      • 1 PCI and 1 EISA slot are occupied by default

  • 21050 PCI-to-PCI bridge chip

  • Intel 82375EB PCI-EISA bridge (AS600 only)

  • 2 16550A serial ports

  • 1 parallel port

  • 16 bit audio Windows Sound System, in a dedicated slot (AS500) in EISA slot (AS600, this is an ISA card)

  • PS/2 keyboard and mouse port

Early machines had Fast SCSI interfaces, later ones are Ultra SCSI capable. AS500 shares its single SCSI bus with internal and external devices. For a Fast SCSI bus you are limited to 1.8 meters bus length external to the box. The AS500 Qlogic ISP1020A chip can be set to run in Ultra mode by setting a SRM variable. FreeBSD however follows the Qlogic chip errata and limits the bus speed to Fast.

Beware of ancient SRM versions on AS500. When you see weird SCSI speeds being reported by FreeBSD like

cd0 at isp0 bus 0 target 4 lun 0
cd0: <DEC RRD45   DEC 0436> Removable CD-ROM SCSI-2 device
cd0: 250.000MB/s transfers (250.000MHz, offset 12)

it is time to do a SRM console firmware upgrade.

AS600 has one Qlogic SCSI chip dedicated to the internal devices whereas the other Qlogic SCSI chip is dedicated to external SCSI devices. Keep the card, which apart from the two SCSI interfaces also houses the Ethernet chip by the way in the DEC-recommended, topmost, 32bit PCI slot. You get machine checks if you plug it into one of the 64 bit slots.

In AS500 DIMMs are installed in sets of 4, in ``physically interleaved'' layout. So, a bank of 4 DIMMs is not 4 physically adjacent DIMMs. Note that the DIMMs are not SDRAM DIMMs.

In AS600 the memory SIMMs are placed onto two memory daughter cards. SIMMs are installed in sets of 8. Both memory daughter cards must be populated identically.

Note that both AS500 and AS600 are EISA machines. This means you have to run the EISA Configuration Utility (ECU) from floppy after adding EISA cards or to change things like the configuration settings of the onboard I/O. For AS500 which does not have a physical EISA slot the ECU is used to configure the onboard sound interface etc.

AS500 onboard sound can be used by adding a line like

device pcm

to the kernel configuration file.

Using the ECU I configured my AS500 to use IRQ 10, port 0x530, drq 0. Corresponding entries along with flags 0x10011 must go into the device.hints file. Note that the flags value is rather non-standard.

AS600 has a peculiarity for its PCI slots. AS600 (or rather the PCI expansion card containing the SCSI adapters) does not allow I/O port mapping, therefore all devices behind it must use memory mapping. If you have problems getting the Qlogic SCSI adapters to work, add the following option to /boot/loader.rc:

set isp_mem_map=0xff

This may need to be typed at the boot loader prompt before booting the installation kernel.

For the AlphaStation-[56]00 machines the kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_KN20AA 
cpu EV5

2.3.8 AlphaServer 1000 (``Mikasa''), 1000A (``Noritake'') and 800(``Corelle'')

The AlphaServer 1000 and 800 range of machines are intended as departmental servers. They come in quite some variations in packaging and mainboard/cpu. Generally speaking there are 21064 (EV4) CPU based machines and 21164 (EV5) based ones. The CPU is on a daughter card, and the type of CPU (EV4 or EV5) must match the mainboard in use.

AlphaServer 800 has a much smaller mini tower case, it lacks the StorageWorks SCSI hot-plug chassis. The main difference between AS1000 and AS1000A is that AS1000A has 7 PCI slots whereas AS1000 only has 3 PCI slots and has EISA slots instead.

AS800 with an EV5/400 MHz CPU was later re-branded to become a ``DIGITAL Server 3300[R]'', AS800 with an EV5/500 MHz CPU was later re-branded to become a ``DIGITAL Server 3305[R]''.

Features:

  • 21064 EV4[5] CPU at 200, 233 or 266 MHz 21164 EV5[6] CPU at 300, 333 or 400 MHz (or 500 MHz for AS800 only)

  • memory:

    • buswidth: 128 bit with ECC

    • AS1000[A]:

      • 72pin 36 bit Fast Page Mode SIMMs, 70ns or better

      • 16 (EV5 machines) or 20 (EV4 machines) SIMM slots

      • max memory is 1 GB

      • uses ECC

    • AS800: Uses 60ns 3.3 Volts EDO DIMMs

  • embedded VGA (on some mainboard models)

  • 3 PCI, 2 EISA, 1 64-bit PCI/EISA combo (AS800)

  • 7 PCI, 2 EISA (AS1000A)

  • 2 PCI, 1 EISA/PCI, 7 EISA (AS1000)

  • embedded SCSI based on Symbios 810 [AS1000] or Qlogic 1020 [AS1000A]

AS1000 based machines come in multiple enclosure types. Floor standing, rack-mount, with or without StorageWorks SCSI chassis etc. The electronics are the same.

AS1000-systems: All EV4 based machines use standard PS/2 style 36 bit 72pin SIMMs in sets of 5. The fifth SIMM is used for ECC. All EV5 based machines use standard PS/2 style 36 bit 72pin SIMMs in sets of 4. The ECC is done based on the 4 extra bits per SIMM (4 bits out of 36). The EV5 mainboards have 16 SIMM slots, the EV4 mainboards have 20 slots.

AS800 machines use DIMMs in sets of 4. DIMM installation must start in slots marked bank 0. A bank is four physically adjacent slots. The biggest size DIMMs must be installed in bank 0 in case 2 banks of different DIMM sizes are used. Max memory size is 2GB. Note that these are EDO DIMMs.

The AS1000/800 are somewhat stubborn when it comes to serial consoles. They need

>>> SET CONSOLE SERIAL

before they go for a serial console. Pulling the keyboard from the machine is not sufficient, like it is on most other Alpha models. Going back to a graphical console needs

>>> SET CONSOLE GRAPHICS

at the serial console.

For AS800 you want to check if your Ultra-Wide SCSI is indeed in Ultra mode. This can be done using the EEROMCFG.EXE utility that is on the Console Firmware Upgrade CDROM.

For the AlphaServer1000/1000A/800 machines the kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_1000A
cpu EV4     # depends on the CPU model installed
cpu EV5     # depends on the CPU model installed

2.3.9 DS10/VS10/XP900 (``Webbrick'') / XP1000 (``Monet'') / DS10L (``Slate'')

Webbrick and Monet are high performance workstations/servers based on the EV6 CPU and the Tsunami chipset. Tsunami is also used in much higher-end systems and as such has plenty of performance to offer. DS10, VS10 and XP900 are different names for essentially the same system. The differences are the software and options that are supported. DS10L is a DS10 based machine in a 1U high rackmount enclosure. DS10L is intended for ISPs and for HPTC clusters (e.g. Beowulf)

2.3.9.1 ``Webbrick / Slate''

  • 21264 EV6 CPU at 466 MHz

  • L2 / Bcache: 2MB, ECC protected

  • memory bus: 128 bit via crossbar, 1.3GB/sec memory bandwidth

  • memory:

    • industry standard 200 pin 83 MHz buffered ECC SDRAM DIMMs

    • 4 DIMM slots for DS10; 2GB max memory

    • 2 DIMM slots for DS10L; 1GB max memory

    • DIMMs are installed in pairs of 2

  • 21271 Core Logic chipset (``Tsunami'')

  • 2 on-board 21143 Fast Ethernet controllers

  • AcerLabs M5237 (Aladdin-V) USB controller (disabled)

  • AcerLabs M1533 PCI-ISA bridge

  • AcerLabs Aladdin ATA-33 controller

  • embedded dual EIDE

  • expansion: 3 64-bit PCI slots and 1 32-bit PCI slot. DS10L has a single 64bit PCI slot

  • 2 16550A serial ports

  • 1 parallel port

  • 2 USB

  • PS/2 keyboard & mouse port

The system has a smart power controller. This means that parts of the system remain powered when it is switched off (like an ATX-style PC power supply). Before servicing the machine remove the power cord.

The smart power controller is called the RMC. When enabled, typing EscapeEscapeRMC on serial port 1 will bring you to the RMC prompt. RMC allows you to powerup or powerdown, reset the machine, monitor and set temperature trip levels etc. RMC has its own builtin help.

Webbrick is shipped in a desktop-style case similar to the older 21164 ``Maverick'' workstations but this case offers much better access to the components. If you intend to build a farm you can rackmount them in a 19-inch rack; they are 3U high. Slate is 1U high but has only one PCI slot.

DS10 has 4 DIMM slots. DIMMs are installed as pairs. Please note that DIMM pairs are not installed in adjacent DIMM sockets but rather physically interleaved. DIMM sizes of 32, 64, 128, 256 and 512 Mbytes are supported.

When 2 pairs of identical-sized DIMMs are installed DS10 will use memory interleaving for increased performance. DS10L, which has only 2 DIMM slots cannot do interleaving.

Starting with SRM firmware version 5.9 you can boot from Adaptec 2940-series adapters in addition to the usual set of Qlogic and Symbios/NCR adapters. KZPEA aka Adaptec 39160 gives you dual channel LVD U160 SCSI which is bootable from SRM.

The base model comes with a FUJITSU 9.5GB ATA disk as its boot device. FreeBSD works just fine using EIDE disks on Webbrick. DS10 has 2 IDE interfaces on the mainboard. Machines destined for Tru64 Unix or VMS are standard equipped with Qlogic-driven Ultra-SCSI disks

On the PCI bus 32 and 64 bit cards are supported, in 3.3V and 5V variants.

The USB ports are not supported and are disabled by the SRM console in all recent SRM versions.

The kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_ST6600    
cpu EV5

Note: Contrary to expectation there is no cpu EV6 defined for inclusion in the kernel config file. The cpu EV5 is mandatory to keep config(8) happy.

2.3.9.2 ``Monet''

  • 21264 EV6 at 500 MHz 21264 EV67 at 500 or 667 MHz (XP1000G, codenamed Brisbane) CPU is mounted on a daughter-card which is field-upgradable

  • L2 / Bcache: 4MB, ECC protected

  • memory bus: 256 bit

  • memory: 128 or 256 Mbytes 100 MHz (PC100) 168 pin JEDEC standard, registered ECC SDRAM DIMMs

  • 21271 core logic chip set (``Tsunami'')

  • 1 on-board 21143 Ethernet controller

  • Cypress 82C693 USB controller

  • Cypress 82C693 PCI-ISA bridge

  • Cypress 82C693 controller

  • expansion: 2 independent PCI buses, driven by high-speed I/O channels called ``hoses'':

    • hose 0: (the upper 3 slots) 2 64-bit PCI slots 1 32-bit PCI slot

    • hose 1: (the bottom 2 slots) 2 32-bit PCI slots (behind a 21154 PCI-PCI bridge)

    • 2 of the 64-bit PCI slots are for full-length cards

    • all of the 32-bit PCI slots are for short cards

    • 1 of the 32-bit PCI slots is physically shared with an ISA slot

    • all PCI slots run at 33MHz

  • 1 Ultra-Wide SCSI port based on a Qlogic 1040 chip

  • 2 16550A serial port

  • 1 parallel port

  • PS/2 keyboard & mouse port

  • embedded 16-bit ESS ES1888 sound chip

  • 2 USB ports

  • graphics options: ELSA Gloria Synergy or DEC/Compaq PowerStorm 3D accelerator cards

Monet is housed in a mini-tower like enclosure quite similar to the Miata box.

The on-board Qlogic UW-SCSI chip supports up to 4 internal devices. There is no external connector for the on-board SCSI.

For 500 MHz CPUs 83 MHz DIMMs will do. Compaq specifies PC100 DIMMs for all CPU speeds. DIMMs are installed in sets of 4, starting with the DIMM slots marked ``0'' Memory capacity is max 4 GB. DIMMs are installed ``physically interleaved'', note the markings of the slots. Memory bandwidth of Monet is twice that of Webbrick. The DIMMs live on the CPU daughter-card. Note that the system uses ECC RAM so you need DIMMs with 72 bits (not the generic PC-class 64 bit DIMMs)

The EIDE interface is usable / SRM bootable so FreeBSD can be rooted on an EIDE disk. Although the Cypress chip has potential for 2 EIDE channels Monet uses only one of them.

The USB interface is supported by FreeBSD.If you experience problems trying to use the USB interface please check if the SRM variable usb_enable is set to on. You can change this by performing:

>>> SET USB_ENABLE ON

Important: Don"t try to use Symbios-chip based SCSI adapters in the PCI slots connected to hose 1. There is a not-yet-found FreeBSD bug that prevents this from working correctly.

Important: Not all VGA cards will work behind the PCI-PCI bridge (so in slots 4 and 5). Only cards that implement VGA-legacy addressing correctly will work. Workaround is to put the VGA card ``before'' the bridge.

The sound chip is not currently supported with FreeBSD.

The kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_ST6600    
cpu EV5

Note: Contrary to expectation there is no cpu EV6 defined for inclusion in the kernel config file. The cpu EV5 is mandatory to keep config(8) happy.

2.3.10 DS20/DS20E (``Goldrush'')

Features:

  • 21264 EV6 CPU at 500 or 670 MHz

  • dual CPU capable machine

  • L2 / Bcache: 4 Mbytes per CPU

  • memory bus: dual 256 bit wide with crossbar switch

  • memory:

    • SDRAM DIMMs

    • installed in sets of 4

    • 16 DIMM slots, max. 4GB

    • uses ECC

  • 21271 core logic chip set (``Tsunami'')

  • embedded Adaptec ? Wide Ultra SCSI

  • expansion:

    • 2 independent PCI buses, driven by high-speed I/O channels called ``hoses''

    • 6 64-bit PCI slots, 3 per hose

    • 1 ISA slot

DS20 needs

>>> SET CONSOLE SERIAL

before it goes for a serial console. Pulling the keyboard from the machine is not sufficient. Going back to a graphical console needs

>>> SET CONSOLE GRAPHICS

at the serial console. Confusing is the fact that you will get SRM console output on the graphics console with the console set to serial, but when FreeBSD boots it honors the CONSOLE variable setting and all the boot messages as well as the login prompt will go to the serial port.

The DS20 is housed in a fat cube-like enclosure. The enclosure also contains a StorageWorks SCSI hot-swap shelf for a maximum of seven 3.5" SCSI devices. The DS20E is in a sleeker case, and lacks the StorageWorks shelf.

The system has a smart power controller. This means that parts of the system remain powered when it is switched off (like an ATX-style PC power supply). Before servicing the machine remove the power cord(s).

The smart power controller is called the RMC. When enabled, typing EscapeEscapeRMC on serial port 1 will bring you to the RMC prompt. RMC allows you to powerup or powerdown, reset the machine, monitor and set temperature trip levels etc. RMC has its own builtin help.

The embedded Adaptec SCSI chip on the DS20 is disabled and is therefore not usable under FreeBSD.

Starting with SRM firmware version 5.9 you can boot from Adaptec 2940-series adapters in addition to the usual set of Qlogic and Symbios/NCR adapters. This unfortunately does not include the embedded Adaptec SCSI chips. You can use a KZPEA aka Adaptec 39160 for dual channel LVD U160 SCSI, which is bootable from SRM.

If you are using banks of DIMMs of different sizes the biggest DIMMs should be installed in the DIMM slots marked 0 on the mainboard. The DIMM slots should be filled ``in order'' so after bank 0 install in bank 1 and so on.

Don't try to use Symbios-chip based SCSI adapters in the PCI slots connected to hose 1. There is a not-yet-found FreeBSD bug that prevents this from working correctly. DS20 ships by default with a Symbios on hose 1 so you have to move this card before you can install/boot FreeBSD on it.

The kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_ST6600    
cpu EV5

Note: Contrary to expectation there is no cpu EV6 defined for inclusion in the kernel config file. The cpu EV5 is mandatory to keep config(8) happy.

2.3.11 AlphaPC 264DP / UP2000

UP2000 was built by Alpha Processor Inc.

Features:

  • 21264 EV6 CPU at 670 or 750 MHz

  • dual CPU capable

  • L2 / Bcache: 4 Mbytes per CPU

  • memory bus: 256 bit

  • memory: SDRAM DIMMs installed in sets of 4, uses ECC, 16 DIMM slots, max. 4GB

  • 21272 core logic chip set (``Tsunami'')

  • 2 embedded Adaptec AIC7890/91 Wide Ultra2 SCSI chips

  • 2 embedded IDE based on Cypress 82C693 chips

  • embedded USB via Cypress 82C693

  • expansion:

    • 2 independent PCI buses, driven by high-speed I/O channels called ``hoses''

    • 6 64-bit PCI slots, 3 per hose

    • 1 ISA slot

Currently a maximum of 2GB memory is supported by FreeBSD.

The on-board Adaptec SCSI HBAs are bootable on UP2000.

Busmaster DMA is supported on the first IDE interface only. The system can boot from it's IDE hard drives and cdrom drives.

The kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_ST6600    
cpu EV5

Note: Contrary to expectation there is no cpu EV6 defined for inclusion in the kernel config file. The cpu EV5 is mandatory to keep config(8) happy.

2.3.12 AlphaServer 2000 (``DemiSable''), 2100 (``Sable''), 2100A (``Lynx'')

The AlphaServer 2[01]00 machines are intended as departmental servers. This is medium iron. They are multi-CPU machines, up to 2 CPUs (AS2000) or 4 CPUs (2100[A]) can be installed. Both floor-standing and 19" rackmount boxes exist. Rackmount variations have different numbers of I/O expansion slots, different max number of CPUs and different maximum memory size. Some of the boxes come with an integral StorageWorks shelf to house hot-swap SCSI disks. There was an upgrade program available to convert your Sable machine into a Lynx by swapping the I/O backplane (the C-bus backplane remains). CPU upgrades were available as well.

  • 21064 EV4[5] CPU[s] at 200, 233, 275 MHz or 21164 EV5[6] CPU[s]s at 250, 300, 375, 400 MHz

  • cache: varies in size with the CPU model; 1, 4 or 8Mbyte per CPU

  • embedded floppy controller driving a 2.88 Mbytes drive

  • embedded 10Mbit 21040 Ethernet [AS2100 only]

  • 2 serial ports

  • 1 parallel port

  • PS/2 style keyboard & mouse port

The CPUs spec-ed as 200 MHz are in reality running at 190 MHz. Maximum number of CPUs is 4. All CPUs must be of the same type/speed.

If any of the processors are ever marked as failed, they will remain marked as failed even after they have been replaced (or reseated) until you issue the command

>>> CLEAR_ERROR ALL

on the SRM console and power-cycle the machine. This may be true for other modules (IO and memory) as well, but it has not been verified.

The machines use dedicated memory boards. These boards live on a 128 bit C-bus shared with the CPU boards. DemiSable supports up to 1GB, Sable up to 2GB. One of the memory bus slots can either hold a CPU or a memory card. A 4 CPU machine can have a maximum of 2 memory boards.

Some memory board models house SIMMs. These are called SIMM carriers. There are also memory modules that have soldered-on memory chips instead of SIMMs. These are called ``flat memory modules''.

SIMM boards are used in sets of eight 72-pin 36 bit FPM memory of 70ns or faster. SIMM types supported are 1M x36 bit (4 Mbyte), 2M x36bit (8 Mbyte) and 4M x36 bit (16 Mbyte). Each memory board can house 4 banks of SIMMs. SIMM sizes can not be mixed on a single memory board. The first memory module must be filled with SIMMs before starting to fill the next memory module. Note that the spacing between the slots is not that big, so make sure your SIMMs fit physically (before buying them..)

Both Lynx and Sable are somewhat stubborn when it comes to serial consoles. They need

>>> SET CONSOLE SERIAL

before they go for a serial console. Pulling the keyboard from the machine is not sufficient, like it is on many other Alpha models. Going back to a graphical console needs

>>> SET CONSOLE GRAPHICS

at the serial console. On Lynx keep the VGA card in one of the primary PCI slots. EISA VGA cards are not slot sensitive.

The machines are equipped with a small OCP (Operator Control Panel) LCD screen. On this screen the self-test messages are displayed during system initialization. You can put your own little text there by using the SRM:

>>> SET OCP_TEXT "FreeBSD"
     

The SRM

>>> SHOW FRU

command produces an overview of your configuration with module serial numbers, hardware revisions and error log counts.

Both Sable, DemiSable and Lynx have Symbios 810 based Fast SCSI on-board. Check if it is set to Fast SCSI speed by

>>> SHOW PKA0_FAST

When set to 1 it is negotiating for Fast speeds.

>>> SET PKA0_FAST 1

enables Fast SCSI speeds.

AS2100[A] come equipped with a StorageWorks 7 slot SCSI cage. A second cage can be added inside the cabinet. AS2000 has a single 7 slot SCSI cage, which cannot be expanded with an additional one. Note that the slot locations in these cages map differently to SCSI IDs compared to the standard StorageWorks shelves. Slot IDs from top to bottom are 0, 4, 1, 5, 2, 6, 3 when using a single bus configuration.

The cage can also be set to provide two independent SCSI buses. This is used for embedded RAID controllers like the KZPSC (Mylex DAC960). Slot ID assignments for split bus are, from top to bottom: 0A, 0B, 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B. Where A and B signify a SCSI bus. In a single bus configuration the terminator module on the back of the SCSI cage is on the TOP. The jumper module is on the BOTTOM. For split bus operation these two modules are reversed. The terminator can be distinguished from the jumper by noting the chips on the terminator. The jumper does not have any active components on it.

DemiSable has 7 EISA slots and 3 PCI slots. Sable has 8 EISA and 3 PCI slots. Lynx, being newer, has 8 PCI and 3 EISA slots. The Lynx PCI slots are grouped in sets of 4. The 4 PCI slots closest to the CPU/memory slots are the primary slots, so logically before the PCI bridge chip. Note that contrary to expectation the primary PCI slots are the highest numbered ones (PCI4 - PCI7).

Make sure you run the EISA Configuration Utility (from floppy) when adding/change expansion cards in EISA slots or after upgrading your console firmware. This is done by inserting the ECU floppy and typing

>>> RUNECU

Note: EISA slots are currently unsupported, but the Compaq Qvision EISA VGA adapter is treated as an ISA device. It therefore works OK as a console.

A special Extended I/O module for use on the C-bus was planned-for. If they ever saw daylight is unknown. In any case FreeBSD has never been verified with an ExtIO module.

The machines can be equipped with redundant power supplies. Note that the enclosure is equipped with interlock switches that switch off power when the enclosure is opened. The system's cooling fans are speed controlled. When the machine has more than 2 CPUs and more than 1 memory board dual power supplies are mandatory.

The kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_2100_A500
cpu EV4 #dependent on CPU model installed
cpu EV5 #dependent on CPU model installed

2.3.13 AlphaServer 4x00 (``Rawhide'')

The AlphaServer 4x00 machines are intended as small enterprise servers. Expect a 30" high pedestal cabinet or alternatively the same system box in a 19" rack. Rawhides are multi-CPU machines, up to 4 CPUs can be in a single machine. Basic disk storage is housed in one or two StorageWorks shelves at the bottom of the pedestal. The Rawhides intended for the NT market are designated DIGITAL Server 7300 (5/400 CPU), DIGITAL Server 7305 (5/533 CPU). A trailing R on the part-number means a rackmount variant.

Features:

  • 21164 EV5 CPUs at 266, 300, 333 MHz or 21164A EV56 CPUs at 400, 466, 533, 600 Mhz

  • cache: 4 Mbytes per CPU. EV5 300 MHz was also available cache-less. 8 Mbytes for EV56 600Mhz

  • memory bus: 128 bit with ECC

  • embedded floppy controller

  • 2 serial ports

  • 1 parallel port

  • PS/2 style keyboard & mouse port

Rawhide can be equipped with a variety of CPU modules. CPU modules exist in versions with and without external cache. In all cases the CPU modules installed always must be of the same speed. A mix of NT-only and full-blown Tru64/VMS CPUs works fine. It will however result in the system reporting itself to the operating system as a Digital Server 730x (so the NT-only variant). FreeBSD does not care, but such a system will not allow Tru64 or VMS to run.

Rawhide uses a maximum of 8 RAM modules. These modules are used in pairs and supply 72 bits to the bus (this includes ECC bits). Memory can be EDO RAM or synchronous DRAM. A fully populated AS4100 has 4 pairs of memory modules. The AS4000 model is limited to 2 pairs of memory modules. Given the choice use SDRAM for best performance. The highest capacity memory boards must be in the memory slots marked MEM0L and MEM0H. A mix of memory board sizes is allowed. A mix of EDO and SDRAM works as well (assuming you don't try to mix EDO and SDRAM in a single module pair). A mix of EDO and SDRAM results in the entire memory subsystem running at the slower EDO timing.

Rawhide has an embedded Symbios 810 chip that gives you a narrow fast-SCSI bus. Generally only the SCSI CDROM is driven by this interface.

Rawhides are available with a 8 64-bit PCI / 3 EISA slot expansion backplanes (called ``Saddle'' modules). There are 2 separate PCI buses, PCI0 and PCI1. PCI0 has 1 dedicated PCI slot and (shared) 3 PCI/EISA slots. PCI0 also has a PCI/EISA bridge that drives things like the serial and parallel ports, keyboard/mouse etc. PCI1 has 4 PCI slots and a Symbios 810 SCSI chip. VGA console cards must be installed in a slot connected to PCI0.

The current FreeBSD implementation has problems in handling PCI bridges. There is currently a limited fix in place which allows for single level, single device PCI bridges. The fix allows the use of the Digital supplied Qlogic SCSI card which sits behind a 21054 PCI bridge chip.

Note: EISA slots are currently unsupported, but the Compaq Qvision EISA VGA adapter is treated as an ISA device. It therefore works as a console. In case you use EISA options in your machine you must run the EISA Configuration Utility (ECU) from floppy. Do yourself a favor and use the Tru64/OpenVMS ECU, and not the WindowsNT ECU.

Rawhide employs an I2C based power controller system. If you want to be sure all power is removed from the system remove all mains cables from the system.

Rawhide comes with RCM functionality, which means you can power it on/off remotely, reset it etc. See also the description for the RMC in the DS10 section of this document. RCM versus RMC is not a typo, the various documentation I consulted used both acronyms interchangeably. Note that if you want remote power on/off to function you need to connect a small DC adapter to the machine in order to have the RCM logic powered. You need to supply 9-12V DC to the small inlet located next to the keyboard connector.

The kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_KN300
cpu EV5

2.3.14 AlphaServer 1200 (``Tincup'') and AlphaStation 1200 (``DaVinci'')

The AlphaServer 1200 machine is the successor to the AlphaServer 1000A. It uses the same enclosure the 1000A uses, but the logic is based on the AlphaServer 4000 design. These are multi-CPU machines, up to 2 CPUs can be in a single machine. Basic disk storage is housed in a StorageWorks shelves The AS1200 intended for the NT market were designated DIGITAL Server 5300 (5/400 CPU) and DIGITAL Server 5305 (5/533 CPU).

Features:

  • 21164A EV56 CPUs at 400 or 533 Mhz

  • cache: 4 Mbytes per CPU

  • memory bus: 128 bit with ECC, DIMM memory on two memory daughter boards

  • embedded floppy controller

  • 2 serial ports

  • 1 parallel port

  • PS/2 style keyboard & mouse port

AS1200 uses 2 memory daughter cards. On each of these cards are 8 DIMM slots. DIMMs must be installed in pairs. The maximum memory size is 4 GBytes. Slots must be filled in order and slot 0 must contain the largest size DIMM if different sized DIMMs are used. AS1200 employs fixed starting addresses for DIMMs, each DIMM pair starts at a 512 Mbyte boundary. This means that if DIMMs smaller than 256 Mbyte are used the system's physical memory map will contain ``holes''. Supported DIMM sizes are 64 Mbytes and 256 Mbytes. The DIMMs are 72 bit SDRAM based, as the system employs ECC.

Note: FreeBSD currently supports up to 2GBytes

AS1200 has an embedded Symbios 810 drive Fast SCSI bus.

Tincup has 5 64-bit PCI slots, one 1 32-bit PCI slot and one EISA slot (which is physically shared with one of the 64-bit PCI slots). There are 2 separate PCI buses, PCI0 and PCI1. PCI0 has the 32-bit PCI slot and the 2 top-most 64-bit PCI slots. PCI0 also has an Intel 82375EB PCI/EISA bridge that drives things like the serial and parallel ports, keyboard/mouse etc. PCI1 has 4 64-bit PCI slots and a Symbios 810 SCSI chip. VGA console cards must be installed in a slot connected to PCI0.

The system employs an I2C based power controller system. If you want to be sure all power is removed from the system remove the mains cables from the system. Tincup uses dual power supplies in load-sharing mode and not as a redundancy pair.

The kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_KN300
cpu EV5

2.3.15 AlphaServer 8200 and 8400 (``TurboLaser'')

The AlphaServer 8200 and 8400 machines are enterprise servers. Expect a tall 19" cabinet (8200) or fat (8400) 19" rack. This is big iron, not a hobbyist system. TurboLasers are multi-CPU machines, up to 12 CPUs can be in a single machine. The TurboLaser System Bus (TLSB) allows 9 nodes on the AS8400 and 5 nodes on the AS8200. TLSB is 256 bit data, 40 bit address allowing 2.1 GBytes/sec. Nodes on the TLSB can be CPUs, memory or I/O. A maximum of 3 I/O ports are supported on a TLSB.

Basic disk storage is housed in a StorageWorks shelf. AS8400 uses 3 phase power, AS8200 uses single phase power.

Features:

  • 21164 EV5/EV56 CPUs at up to 467 MHz or 21264 EV67 CPUs at up to 625 MHz

  • one or two CPUs per CPU module

  • cache: 4Mbytes B-cache per CPU

  • memory bus: 256 bit with ECC

  • memory: big memory modules that plug into the TLSB, which in turn hold special SIMM modules. Memory modules come in varying sizes, up to 4 GBytes a piece. Uses ECC (8 bits per 64 bits of data) 7 memory modules max for AS8400, 3 modules max for AS8200. Maximum memory is 28 GBytes.

  • expansion: 3 system ``I/O ports'' that allow up to 12 I/O channels each I/O channel can connect to XMI, Futurebus+ or PCI boxes

FreeBSD supports (and has been tested with) up to 2 GBytes of memory on TurboLaser. There is a trade-off to be made between TLSB slots occupied by memory modules and TLSB slots occupied by CPU modules. For example you can have 28GBytes of memory but only 2 CPUs (1 module) at the same time.

Only PCI expansion is supported on FreeBSD. XMI or Futurebus+ (which are AS8400 only) are both unsupported.

The I/O port modules are designated KFTIA or KFTHA. The I/O port modules supply so called ``hoses'' that connect to up to 4 (KFTHA) PCI buses or 1 PCI bus (KFTIA). KFTIA has embedded dual 10baseT Ethernet, single FDDI, 3 SCSI Fast Wide Differential SCSI buses and a single Fast Wide Single Ended SCSI bus. The FWSE SCSI is intended for the CDROM.

KFTHA can drive via each of its 4 hoses a DWLPA or DWLPB box. The DWLPx house a 12 slots 32 bit PCI backplane. Physically the 12 slots are 3 4-slot buses but to the software it appears as a single 12 slots PCI bus. A fully expanded AS8x00 can have 3 (I/O ports) times 4 (hoses) times 12 (PCI slots/DWLPx) = 144 PCI slots. The maximum bandwidth per KFTHA is 500 Mbytes/second. DWLPA can also house 8 EISA cards, 2 slots are PCI-only, 2 slots are EISA only. Of the 12 slots 2 are always occupied by an I/O and connector module. DWLPB are the prefered I/O boxes.

For best performance distribute high bandwidth (FibreChannel, Gigabit Ethernet) over multiple hoses and/or multiple KFTHA/KFTIA.

Currently PCI expansion cards containing PCI bridges are not usable with FreeBSD. Don't use them at this time.

The single ended narrow SCSI bus on the KFTIA will turn up as the fourth SCSI bus. The 3 fast-wide differential SCSI buses of the KFTIA precede it.

AS8x00 are generally run with serial consoles. Some newer machines might have a graphical console of some sorts but FreeBSD has only been tested on a serial console.

For serial console usage either change /etc/ttys to have:

console "/usr/libexec/getty std.9600"   unknown   on secure

as the console entry, or add

zs0     "/usr/libexec/getty std.9600"   unknown   on secure

For the AlphaServer 8x00 machines the kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_KN8AE   # Alpha 8200/8400 (Turbolaser)
cpu EV5

Contrary to expectation there is no cpu EV6 defined for inclusion in the kernel config file. The cpu EV5 is mandatory to keep config(8) happy.

2.3.16 Alpha Processor Inc. UP1000

The UP1000 is an ATX mainboard based on the 21264a CPU which itself lives in a Slot B module. It is normally housed in an ATX tower enclosure.

Features:

  • 21264a Alpha CPU at 600 or 700 MHz in a Slot B module (includes cooling fans)

  • memory bus: 128 bits to the L2 cache, 64 bits from Slot B to the AMD-751

  • on-board Bcache / L2 cache: 2MB (600Mhz) or 4MB (700Mhz)

  • AMD AMD-751 (``Irongate'') system controller chip

  • Acer Labs M1543C PCI-ISA bridge controller / super-IO chip

  • PS/2 mouse & keyboard port

  • memory: 168-pin PC100 unbuffered SDRAM DIMMS, 3 DIMM slots DIMM sizes supported are 64, 128 or 256 Mb in size

  • 2 16550A serial port

  • 1 ECP/EPP parallel port

  • floppy interface

  • 2 embedded Ultra DMA33 IDE interface

  • 2 USB ports

  • expansion:

    • 4 32 bit PCI slots

    • 2 ISA slots

    • 1 AGP slot

Slot B is a box-like enclosure that houses a daughter-board for the CPU and cache. It has 2 small fans for cooling. Loud fans..

The machine needs ECC capable DIMMs, so 72 bit ones. This does not appear to be documented in the UP1000 docs. The system accesses the serial EEPROM on the DIMMs via the SM bus. Note that if only a single DIMM is used it must be installed in slot 2. This is a bit counter-intuitive.

The UP1000 needs a 400Watt ATX power supply according to the manufacturer. This might be a bit overly conservative/pessimistic judging from the power consumption of the board & cpu. But as always you will have to take your expansion cards and peripherals into account. The M1543C chip contains power management functionality & temperature monitoring (via I2C / SM bus).

Chances are that your UP1000 comes by default with AlphaBios only. The SRM console firmware is available from the Alpha Processor Inc. web site. It is currently available in a beta version which was successfully used during the port of FreeBSD to the UP1000.

The embedded Ultra DMA EIDE ports are bootable by the SRM console.

UP1000 SRM can boot off an Adaptec 294x adapter. Under high I/O load conditions machine lockups have been observed using the Adaptec 294x. A Symbios 875 based card works just fine, using the sym driver. Most likely other cards based on the Symbios chips that the sym driver supports will work as well.

The USB interfaces are disabled by the SRM console and have not (yet) been tested with FreeBSD.

For the UP1000 the kernel config file must contain:

options    API_UP1000  # UP1000, UP1100 (Nautilus)
cpu EV5

2.3.17 Alpha Processor Inc. UP1100

The UP1100 is an ATX mainboard based on the 21264a CPU running at 600 MHz. It is normally housed in an ATX tower enclosure.

Features:

  • 21264a Alpha EV6 CPU at 600 or 700 MHz

  • memory bus: 100MHz 64-bit (PC-100 SDRAM), 800 MB/s memory bandwidth

  • on-board Bcache / L2 cache: 2Mb

  • AMD AMD-751 (``Irongate'') system controller chip

  • Acer Labs M1535D PCI-ISA bridge controller / super-IO chip

  • PS/2 mouse & keyboard port

  • memory: 168-pin PC100 unbuffered SDRAM DIMMS, 3 DIMM slots DIMM sizes supported are 64, 128 or 256 Mb in size

  • 2 16550A serial port

  • 1 ECP/EPP parallel port

  • floppy interface

  • 2 embedded Ultra DMA66 IDE interface

  • 2 USB port

  • expansion: 3 32 bit PCI slots and 1 AGP2x slot

SRM console code comes standard with the UP1100. The SRM lives in 2Mbytes of flash ROM.

The machine needs ECC capable DIMMs, so 72 bit ones. This does not appear to be documented in the UP1100 docs. The system accesses the serial EEPROM on the DIMMs via the SM bus. Note that if only a single DIMM is used it must be installed in slot 2. This is a bit counter-intuitive.

The UP1100 needs a 400Watt ATX power supply according to the manufacturer. This might be a bit overly conservative/pessimistic judging from the power consumption of the board & cpu. But as always you will have to take your expansion cards and peripherals into account. The M1535D chip contains power management functionality & temperature monitoring (via I2C / SM bus using a LM75 thermal sensor).

The UP1100 has an on-board 21143 10/100Mbit Ethernet interface.

The UP1100 is equipped with a SoundBlaster compatible audio interface. Whether it works with FreeBSD is as of yet unknown.

The embedded Ultra DMA EIDE ports are bootable by the SRM console.

The UP1100 has 3 USB ports, 2 going external and one connected to the AGP port.

For the UP1100 the kernel config file must contain:

options    API_UP1000  # UP1000, UP1100 (Nautilus)
cpu EV5

Contrary to expectation there is no cpu EV6 defined for inclusion in the kernel config file. The cpu EV5 is mandatory to keep config(8) happy.

2.3.18 Alpha Processor Inc. CS20, Compaq DS20L

The CS20 is a 19", 1U high rackmount server based on the 21264[ab] CPU. It can have a maximum of 2 CPUs. Compaq sells the CS20 rebranded as the AlphaServer DS20L. DS20L has 833MHz CPUs.

Features:

  • 21264a Alpha CPU at 667 MHz or 21264b 833 MHz (max. 2 CPUs)

  • memory bus: 100MHz 256-bit wide

  • 21271 Core Logic chipset (``Tsunami'')

  • Acer Labs M1533 PCI-ISA bridge controller / super-IO chip

  • PS/2 mouse & keyboard port

  • memory: 168-pin PC100 PLL buffered/registered SDRAM DIMMS, 8 DIMM slots, uses ECC memory, min 256 Mbytes / max 2 GBytes of memory

  • 2 16550A serial port

  • 1 ECP/EPP parallel port

  • ALI M1543C Ultra DMA66 IDE interface

  • embedded dual Intel 82559 10/100Mbit Ethernet

  • embedded Symbios 53C1000 Ultra160 SCSI controller

  • expansion: 2 64 bit PCI slots (2/3 length)

SRM console code comes standard with the CS20. The SRM lives in 2Mbytes of flash ROM.

The CS20 needs ECC capable DIMMs. Note that it uses buffered DIMMs.

The CS20 has an I2C based internal monitoring system for things like temperature, fans, voltages etc. The I2C also supports ``wake on LAN''.

Each PCI slot is connected to its own independent PCI bus on the Tsunami.

The embedded Ultra DMA EIDE ports are bootable by the SRM console.

The CS20 has an embedded slim-line IDE CD drive. There is a front-accessible bay for a 1" high 3.5" SCSI hard-disk drive with SCA connector.

Note that there is no floppy disk drive (or a connector to add one).

The kernel config file must contain:

options    DEC_ST6600
cpu EV5

Contrary to expectation there is no cpu EV6 defined for inclusion in the kernel config file. The cpu EV5 is mandatory to keep config(8) happy.

2.3.19 Compaq AlphaServer ES40 (``Clipper'')

The ES40 is a SMP system that can have 1 - 4 21264 Alpha CPUs. With the maximum configuration of 32GB of memory these systems are often deployed as heavy database servers and are also found in HPTC compute farm environments.

Features:

  • 21264 Alpha CPU at 500 (EV6), 667 (EV67) or 833 MHz (EV68) (max. 4 CPUs)

  • memory bus: 256-bit wide

  • 21272 Core Logic chipset

  • PS/2 mouse & keyboard port

  • memory: 200-pin JEDEC standard SDRAM DIMMS, max 32 GBytes of memory

  • 2 16550A serial port

  • 1 ECP/EPP parallel port

  • ALI M1543C Ultra DMA66 IDE interface

  • expansion: 2 64 bit PCI buses

SRM console code comes standard with the ES40.

ES40 comes with an ATA CDROM drive, but uses SCSI harddisks. The usual Symbios & Qlogic adapters are bootable, as is the KZPEA aka Adaptec 39160 dual channel LVD U160 adapter.

Memory is divided in 4 memory arrays which each contain a set of 4 SDRAM DIMMs. Each DIMM is 72 bit wide and of the 100MHz speed variant. An array can contain 2 sets, so 8 DIMMs max per array. The DIMMs live on Memory Mother Boards (MMBs). There are 2 MMB models, with 4 and 8 DIMM sockets respectively. Each MMB provides half of the 256 bit memory bus width to the CPUs. Given the myriad options for the memory configuration it is advisable to check the system documentation for the optimum memory configuration.

Dependent on the model variation the ES40 has 6 or 10 64 bit PCI slots. This is basically just means the same backplane with less connectors mounted.

ES40 has the same RMC remote power control as DS10 and DS20. See the description of the RMC in the DS10 section of this document. Most variations of ES40 have multiple power supplies, allowing for N+1 redundancy. When installing CPU cards you must unplug all power cords, the CPU cards receive standby power from the power supplies. Maximum memory configurations need more than the default number of powersupplies.

The kernel config file must contain:

options   DEC_ST6600
cpu     EV5

Contrary to expectation there is no cpu EV6 defined for inclusion in the kernel config file. The cpu EV5 is mandatory to keep config(8) happy.

2.4 Supported Hardware Overview

A word of caution: the installed base for FreeBSD is not nearly as large as for FreeBSD/Intel. This means that the enormous variation of PCI/ISA expansion cards out there has much less chance of having been tested on alpha than on Intel. This is not to imply they are doomed to fail, just that the chance of running into something never tested before is much higher. GENERIC contains things that are known to work on Alpha only.

The PCI and ISA expansion busses are fully supported. Turbo Channel is not in GENERIC and has limited support (see the relevant machine model info). The MCA bus is not supported. The EISA bus is not supported for use with EISA expansion cards as the EISA support code is lacking. ISA cards in EISA slots are reported to work. The Compaq Qvision EISA VGA card is driven in ISA mode and works OK as a console.

1.44 Mbyte and 1.2 Mbyte floppy drives are supported. 2.88 Mbyte drives sometimes found in Alpha machines are supported up to 1.44Mbyte.

ATA and ATAPI (IDE) devices are supported via the ata(4) driver framework. As most people run their Alphas with SCSI disks it is not as well tested as SCSI. Be aware of boot-ability restrictions for IDE disks. See the machine specific information.

There is full SCSI support via the CAM layer for Adaptec 2940x (AIC7xxx chip-based), Qlogic family and Symbios. Those of you interested in U160 SCSI might want to take a look at an Adaptec 39160 dual channel LVD U160 adapter. Compaq calls this a KZPEA adapter. Recent Alpha models have SRM versions that can boot from them. In general be aware of the machine-specific boot-ability issues for the various adapter models. Where known they are listed in the individual machine descriptions.

The Qlogic QL2x00 FibreChannel host adapters are fully supported.

If you want to boot your Alpha over the Ethernet you will obviously need an Ethernet card that the SRM console recognizes. This generally means you need a board with an 21x4x Ethernet chip as that is what Digital used. These chips are driven by the FreeBSD de(4) (older driver) or dc(4) (newer driver). Some new SRM versions are known to recognize the Intel 8255x Ethernet chips as driven by the FreeBSD fxp(4) driver. But beware: the fxp(4) driver is reported not to work correctly with FreeBSD/alpha (although it works excellently on FreeBSD/x86).

DEC DEFPA PCI FDDI network adapters are supported on alpha.

In general the SRM console emulates a VGA-compatibility mode on PCI VGA cards. This is, however, not guaranteed to work by Compaq/DEC for each and every card type out there. When the SRM thinks the VGA is acceptable FreeBSD will be able to use it. The console driver works just like on a FreeBSD/intel machine. Please note that VESA modes are not supported on Alpha, so that leaves you with 80x25 consoles.

In some Alpha machines you will find video adapters based on TGA chips. The plain TGA adapter does not emulate VGA and is therefore not usable for a FreeBSD console. TGA2 cards have a basic VGA compatibility mode and work fine as FreeBSD consoles.

The ``PC standard'' serial ports found on most Alphas are supported.

ISDN (i4b) is not supported on FreeBSD/alpha.

2.5 Acknowledgments

In compiling this file I used multiple information sources, but the NetBSD Web site proved to be an invaluable source of information. If it wasn't for NetBSD/alpha there probably would not be a FreeBSD/alpha in the first place.

People who kindly helped me create this section:

This file, and other release-related documents, can be downloaded from http://www.FreeBSD.org/snapshots/.

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <questions@FreeBSD.org>.

All users of FreeBSD 5-STABLE should subscribe to the <stable@FreeBSD.org> mailing list.

For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.